As you can imagine “kit” is a big topic of discussion and debate amongst all Adventure Racers, and our team is no exception. All of us are experienced to one degree or another with one day events but planning for a 5 day non stop race where one is likely to be “off-grid” for most if not all of the time is something else. Heather and Jill have the advantage of some experience on the Sting and Terrex so we know what to expect. Lighting is a key issue, even if it is summer and daylight does stretch into the evenings we are going to moving in the dark, both on foot and on the bike, maybe even on the water. A good head torch is therefore a must, along with bike lights. I’d been given a Petzl Tikka RXP for Christmas this year and been extremely impressed with it during our night run over the Yorkshire 3 Peaks. The reactive lighting modes, rather than the gimmick I thought it was at first, turns out to be highly effective. The system takes care of the different levels of light you need under different circumstances. The difference between reading maps close to hand and running along a track for example. The system adapts the light output and the beam to optimise the system for both, and to max the burn time.
The good news is that Petzl have agreed to sponsor the team for the ITERA and provide the rest of the team with a range of torches and spares for the race. This is fantastic news, budgets are already very tight and this will make a real difference.
The torch need to be programmed to get the best out of it. The interface is a little unusual but once the thing is connected to your PC, in my case a Mac, its a simple process to set the torch characteristic or what Petzl call profiles. Depending on your need the profiles can be set as either constant lighting modes or one of three reactive modes. These reactive modes vary between light output and beam width and predicted burn time. In our case I’ve set them to the simplest mode which should maximise the battery life whilst still giving a good middle distance output for running.